Create a Landing Strip. Luckily for us, our landing strip situation is pretty under control. We already have a doormat, and a closet to hang our coats. We're pretty good about going through the mail as soon as we bring it in, and immediately throw out anything we don't need. We've dedicated a couple of spots on the bookcase shelves closest to the door to support other landing strip necessities like keys, important mail, etc. (We even have an umbrella holder!) As shown above: 1) Important mail (and stamps, and our favorite take-out menu) 2) Dish for bus/subway tokens (alas, we're out of tokens) 3) Cup for keys (and cat insurance cards, and ticket stubs that I use as bookmarks) 4) Jar for change 6) Dry erase markers for the running shopping list in the hallway nearby 7) Cast iron letters that we bought at a Paris flea market and use as paperweights to hold our dry cleaning receipts For this assignment, I just went through and tidied the landing strip areas on the bookshelf. We also went through all of the umbrellas in our holder and threw out any that were broken. I really took to heart the advice on emptying all bags as soon as you come home so that they're ready for next time. For me, this means my handbag. I started with thoroughly cleaning it out, and committing myself to doing so every time I come home. (This is huge for me. I once walked around for six months with a Ziploc baggie of hardware in my bag without ever realizing it.) Working together: Shawn is great at addressing incoming mail on the spot. I had a real problem with this before we moved in together, but his example has helped me immensely. It really is so easy to take five steps to the trash and immediately toss anything not worth saving. (It helps that so much of our mail is electronic these days, too.) The only discussion we had regarding this assignment was what to do with the other person's mail if they're not home when we bring it in. We decided to set it in a neat stack on the table next to the bookshelf so that it would be readily visible to the other person when they came through the door. Then that person could deal with it when they got home, just like they would if they had brought it in themselves.
Day 10: Work on Your Goal Project. As I mentioned last week, our goal project for the month is organizing the basement. And since this is such a big project, we decided we needed to schedule it for a time when we had a least one full day available to work on it. We decided on Saturday. Unfortunately, with me being sick, and Shawn needing to work at the last minute, we were not able to stick to our schedule. Therefore, we've rescheduled our basement project for next Saturday. Working together: Or not, in this case! (I'll provide details on this as soon as we actually work on our project.) Day 11: Try a Media Fast. In my sorry state last week, the only things I seemed capable of doing were sleeping and watching television. (On the plus side, I was able to catch up on some movies. Has anyone seen To Rome With Love or Beasts of the Southern Wild? Thoughts??) I was fairly unplugged from my computer, though (as my pounding head made it hard for me to focus on the screen), and I didn't really feel like talking to anyone on the phone. Alas, I realize this does not count as a actual media fast, so this Friday night Shawn and I will be doing one for real. Working together: Shawn and I are both very enthusiastic about this assignment, and in planning a time to do it, we ended up having quite a discussion about media fasts, in general. We both agreed that Friday night would be a step in the right direction, but that we'd like incorporate media fasts in our schedule on a more regular basis.
In addition to our regular jobs, we're both bloggers, and we work from home a lot. As a result, our days are often spent in front of our computers, and our nights in front of the television (often while also on our computers!). The television viewing is unproductive (many times we're merely watching whatever's on), and the computer time isn't always absolutely necessary. So, we've decided to try using our time a little differently. Going forward, any time we spend watching television will be intentional; i.e. we will limit our TV time and only watch shows and movies we really want to watch. The rest of the time the television will be off. In addition, on the days that Shawn doesn't come late from teaching (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), we will unplug from our electronics at eight o'clock in the evening. We will also eat dinner at our dining table most nights (instead of in front of the television, like we do now.) Lastly, we will use our new found time to clean, work on projects, read, and the like. (Maybe now I'll be able to make some headway with the books I've been working on!) Day 12: De-clutter Books and Media. This assignment was a good one for us, because in doing it, we'll able to check five items off of our project list. (Yay!) Shawn got a jumpstart on it when he went through his magazines early last week. Then, I went through the magazines in the rack in the living room. I also decluttered the books under the bench in my room and went through the book piles in the living room. Lastly, Friday night (during our media fast) we plan to sort through all of our videos and DVDs.
Working together: I'm trying to convince Shawn that getting one of the above bookcases would be a good idea. Because, the fact of the matter is that I love books. And I'm going to continue to get new ones. And at least with one of these, the books would have a home, and they wouldn't end up in random piles around the house (like they do now). He remains unconvinced. (Did I mention he's a minimalist?) I do have one question, though — why is the one from CB2 (right) only nine dollars less than the same size version from Design Within Reach (left)?? Day 13: Weekend Chores: Flowers and Bedroom Cleaning. Of all of the weekend chores assigned so far, this one scared me the least. I guess it's because we do almost all of the bedroom tasks listed on a fairly regular basis already. That's not to say that some of them didn't still need to be done, but at least they've lost their power to intimidate me. The areas that most needed to be addressed were vacuuming under and behind the bed, vacuuming the closet, and decluttering the top of the dresser in my closet. We've decided to tackle all of these during our media fast. Working together: For this assignment, Shawn will do the laundry and the vacuuming (which he usually does) and I will do the dusting and straightening (as I usually do). There really wasn't much to discuss, as like I said, we do most of these tasks on a regular basis. We did talk about and decide against rotating the mattress though, as we had already done so recently. How did you do this week? (Images: 1-3. Bethany Seawright, 4a.Design Within Reach, 4b.CB2)